After putting off my appointment to see the shrink last month, I had to go in today. I had a few things to talk about–anxiety and the nightmares. I also wanted to talk about my mood swings and see about lessening depression symptoms.
I had everything written down on a note on my iPhone, that way I wouldn’t blank on what I needed to discuss as I usually do.
Despite the preparedness, things didn’t get off to the best start though. Almost as soon as I pulled up into the parking lot, I realized I had forgotten to put my hearing aids in after my shower.
Fuck, fuck, fuck.
Cue an anxiety attack. (Good thing I got there early.) It really shouldn’t be that big of a deal, since the shrink knows I have difficult hearing and helped out by sitting beside of me when my battery died before, but it was in that moment. I considered canceling it at the last minute and coming back another day, but didn’t since the office is an hour from my house and juggling things to make sure Sam can watch Baby Girl for these appointments isn’t always easy.
After getting myself somewhat calmed down, I went in and signed in, but still felt very off. When the shrink came out to call me back and we sat down, she made a few comments that I couldn’t hear, so I let her know what was up. She moved to sit on the couch beside of me and commented that it didn’t look like I was having a good day.
“No. Like I said, I forgot my hearing aids, which has made me feel extremely anxious.” Plus some other stuff was going on this morning and my mood was shit, but it was mostly the anxiety.
She asked how my family was then got down to business. “How’s the depression?”
I showed her my mood chart so I could point out the depression free couple of weeks I had, then showed her how the depression is still higher than I’d like. (Well, I would like it not to be present at all, but I’m pretty sure that’s not happening.) It’s improved compared to six months ago, but still present a lot of the time and can make things pretty fucking tough.
“Damn, your anxiety is all over the place, too. Not a lot of hypomanic days,” she commented, looking over the three months worth of mood logs.
“No. There are days where my mood is all over the place–up and down, normal and down, lots of shifts within the same day sometimes, but that isn’t really represented on the chart, since I can only do one log for each thing.”
“Let’s see what we can do about that. How would you feel about increasing your Lamictal a little? Not a lot, but just enough to see if it helps with depression and the mood swings. If it doesn’t we can try a higher dose or something different.”
I told her that was fine. I’m a little wary of Lamictal, between reading about others’ reactions to it and knowing how my memory is getting spottier by the day (side effect), but she didn’t want to increase it by a lot, either, so I’m willing to try.
I then told her about the nightmares, which she thinks is probably due to things getting stirred up in therapy. She asked if I’d be comfortable trying a new pill at night called Prazosin. It’s an alpha-blocker that, in addition to treating high blood pressure, it also helps with anxiety and nightmares related to PTSD. So I’ll start that tonight, if I’m able to get back to the pharmacy before it closes.
I have to go back in a month to see how things are going with the increased Lamictal and the Prazosin. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this helps cross things off my mental health Santa list.